Resource Reviews 3/06
by Connect Staff
Material World: A Global Family Portrait, by Peter Menzel, is an astounding book that portrays ten families from around the globe. Each is depicted in front of their dwelling with all family members who live there and their possessions arranged in front. Comments of the photographers about their stay in a region and their experience in shooting each portrait then follow. There is much fascinating material here and children ages ten and above will enjoy poring over the rich photographs; older students will appreciate the interesting text. This is a wonderful resource for studying cultures, geography, and families. 255 pages.
Teaching for Change is a catalog and Web site dedicated to "both academic achievement and an active, conscientious citizenry." Resources such as books, videos, posters, software, games and cards are available. Topics include strategies, pedagogy, and current issues in education, as well as content area across the curricula, pre-K to college. Population growth, biographies of explorers, multi-culturalism and guides to social activism (i.e., cleaning up local environmentally sensitive areas) can be found here.
Home Waters is a video by Rob Perkins, who canoed the Connecticut River from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound. Poignant and humorous, this video is most appropriate for older elementary students, although a teacher can fast-forward through inappropriate or slow-moving sections for younger students. Perkins offers a unique perspective and a captivating look at the people, animals, and industries that survive along the river. 1 hr.
The Multi-Cultural Math Classroom: Bringing in the World, by Claudia Zaslavsky, lays out a rationale for multicultural mathematics that intersects nicely with social studies and language arts classes. Writing early in the movement to include learning about diverse cultures in classrooms, Zaslavsky brilliantly makes the case for why this is important. The book has three sections: one on theory, the second section has an abundance of activities, arranged according to general topics like numerals, counting devices, and geometry, and the third section relates to the greater community and world. This is an excellent resource for teachers of all elementary grades. 239 pages.
- Synergy Learning has a small dedicated staff of educators with experience both in the classroom and staff development.